According to a new report launched on 10th July 2019 by Elior UK’s care subsidiary Caterplus, things like flexible dining and healthy food choices are becoming increasingly important to seniors when it comes to choosing care provision in later life.
‘The Future of Care: How the Nation Wants to Age’ revealed that 80% of respondents said the most important factor affecting the choice of care provision was “freedom of life”, which included being able to eat where and when they wanted, and being able to socialise, entertain and eat with friends and family.
The food and drink offering of care providers was a deciding factor for 60% of people in the survey. An on site café was revealed as the most desired facility, with a café, restaurant or bar that can be visited outside of mealtimes appealing to 71% of respondents.
The ageing population most wants to see traditional British food on the menu, followed by Italian and Chinese cuisines. Flexibility around mealtimes is seen as important, with 67% saying they would prefer to have their largest meal in the evening, only 28% wanting the traditional three meals a day served at set times, and an increasing number looking for all-day grazing.
The findings also reveal that the ageing population expects technology to integrate with and improve lifestyles, offering a personalised service for leisure activities, eating and drinking, medical needs and overall wellbeing.
To create the report Caterplus undertook a UK-wide study of over 3,000 respondents aged between 45 and 75, gauging the nation’s priorities for later life living. It is intended to act as a guide for care providers, offering wide-ranging insights and constructive recommendations to meet the needs of the so-called rock and roll generation and create the ideal later life provision of the future.
Paul Burstow, former Minister of State for Care Home Services, has supported and contributed to the report. He said: “By listening to people in later life we can make a difference now… Care providers and policymakers would do well to take on board the insights and challenges in this report, to improve future care for generations to come.”
Robin Givens, Managing Director Contracts at Elior UK, said: “Over 50s account for more than a third of the population and half of consumer expenditure. They hold 80% of all personal wealth and control around 70% of all disposable income – so hold considerable influence as a group.
“We created this report to give the entire care industry – be it caterers, care providers, architects or builders – a clearer direction as to what we should be doing to create a future care provision that is truly fit for purpose for this diverse group.”